Amoeba Watchful Alternative Press: rated 5/5 - Essential: 'Sounding vaguely like Robert Wyatt on Valium: music for life-weary somnambulists. Embracing the meloncholy that lingers just beyond the thin veil of hope, the songs on Watchful linger in the netherworld of sinking memory and damaged dreams... This is a superb and unusual album that mesmerizes and engulfs. (Mark Burbey) (Brent Wilcox): AMOEBA is the haunting, beautiful work of Robert Rich and Rick Davies. Robert Rich is well known in the ambient/electronica world for the attention he gives sonic details in his solo soundscapes, and he brings that ear here to an album of -- essentially -- pop music. It's a diffuse sort of pop music, surprisingly difficult to describe. Relaxed but carefully detailed, hypnotic, melodic, a bit melancholy. There's a small, growing sub-genre out there, of pop music that creates mood with pauses and silences, noises and textures -- reference points go back to Robert Wyatt and Nick Drake, or forward to Cocteau Twins, Durrutti Column, Dead Can Dance and especially the last two indescribable Talk Talk albums. It's music that hovers around your ears, tweaking and holding your attention with fascinating details and melodies, never landing heavily. It's beautiful, but not always pretty. Often stark and threatening motifs underlay fragmentary melodies -- or tuneful moments are unwound, reconstructed as strangely-familiar alien landscapes. But it never wanders beyond accessibility, and I recommend it.
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